ENSEMBLE LES NATIONS - cantus: Stefano Albarello; tenor/altus, arpa diatonica: Matteo Zenatti;tenor/altus: Massimiliano Pascucci; bassus: Marco Scavazza; cornetto e cornetto muto: Paolo Fanciullacci; traverse: Luigi Lupo; bombarda, flauto dolce contralto e tenore: Paolo Faldi; flauto dolce contralto e tenore: Pamela Monkobodzky; trombone: Mauro Morini; dulciana: Alberto Santi;liuto: Stefano Rocco; organo: Maria Luisa Baldassari
Bartolomeo Tromboncino (Verona, c. 1470 - Venice, after 1535) appears in musicological texts primarily as a composer of secular music. He, together with his colleague Marchetto Cara, were responsible for a large number of the frottolas composed between the 15th and the 16th centuries, under the auspices of Isabella d’Este of Mantua, in whose service both musicians served for an extensive length of time. The interest on the part of musicologists in the frottola and the importance of Tromboncino’s work in this genre has resulted in a focus of study on his secular compositions, considered principally in the context of stylistic evolution. His sacred output, on the contrary, has been almost entirely neglected, a fate which it shares with practically the entire sacred repertoire by Italian composers active between the two centuries, for it has been overshadowed by the dominating interest in the music by Flemish composers. If one excludes the introductions to modern editions and little else, there are no specific studies dedicated to the laude of Tromboncino, which are indeed of great interest, both from an historical and musical standpoint. These works exhibit a high quality of composition and an individuality of style, uniting elements of the frottola and the lauda with a knowledge of Flemish counterpoint. It is the very union of these experiences which allows for their great variety in timbre, ranging from full sonorities to decisively more intimate ones. The choice of forces for this recording is based on an examination of the musical customs at the Mantuan court, on the one hand, and on the practice of singing laude at the Venetian Scuole Grandi, on the other.